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NY Greek yogurt makers urged to apply for extended USDA pilot

By Mark Astley+

09-Apr-2014

New York-based Chobani supplied the first phase of the Greek Yogurt Pilot Program.
New York-based Chobani supplied the first phase of the Greek Yogurt Pilot Program.

US Senator Charles Schumer has urged New York-based Greek yogurt manufacturers, including Alpina, Fage, Chobani, and Muller Quaker Dairy, to apply to the soon-to-be expanded Greek Yogurt Pilot Program.

Schumer, a New York Senator and Greek yogurt advocate, revealed late last week that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 20 May for Greek yogurt manufacturers seeking to supply the enlarged Greek Yogurt Pilot Program, which sees the product served on the National School Lunch Program.

In advance of the USDA RFP, Schumer has called on Greek yogurt manufacturers in his home state to apply.

“Bringing NY-made Greek yogurt to school lunchrooms across the country will further the growth of our burgeoning dairy industry, and solidify New York’s reputation as the Greek yogurt capital,” he said.

“So I’m urging all New York Greek yogurt producers to apply for the next round of the USDA Greek yogurt pilot program, because it’s such a great opportunity for them to send their products to new parts of the country and grow business.” 

After successfully undercutting rival bids, market leader Chobani was selected to supply of the first phase of the National School Lunch Program Greek yogurt pilot in New York, Idaho, Arizona, and Tennessee, which ended in November 2013.

The second stage, which will now also cover schools in California, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and Mississippi, will run from September 2014 to June 2015.

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